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Orange Index awards Santam again for excellent customer service

06 November 2009 Santam
Ian Kirk, Santam Chief Executive

Ian Kirk, Santam Chief Executive

Client service is essential to any company’s success in difficult economic times. Santam believes its strong client centric approach, which is driven by all its employees throughout the business, is the key to it being awarded for the second year running the winner in the short-term insurance industry category and securing the overall second position in the 2009 Ask Africa Orange Index. This survey is seen as the most comprehensive and reliable long-term benchmark for measuring service quality in South Africa.

“As early as 2008, against the backdrop of the current economic climate, we realised that our market was changing. We then re-looked all our business processes, with a particular focus on four strategic elements: the claim experience, retention & reward, product innovation, and risk management. The importance of exceptional service delivery to our policyholders in these four areas became central to our decision making,” says Ian Kirk, Santam Chief Executive.

Based on the findings from industry and client research, Santam then set itself the objective of redefining the industry, by challenging certain aspects where clients felt their needs weren’t being met. The result was a commitment to settle certain lifestyle claims, such as replacing a watch, cellphone or sunglasses within eight hours was undertaken, a 24-hour claims tracking service was made available as well as a personal claims handler. In addition, Santam also now guarantees the workmanship on repairs by Santam’s pre-approved suppliers such as panel-beaters.

“We’ve also taken steps to reward our clients for their loyalty and responsible behaviour by reducing their premiums accordingly. We’ve adapted our actuarial models to take into account clients’ risk management behaviour, their seniority (over 50s tend to be more responsible) and their loyalty to Santam over the years,” says Kirk.

Another focus area was product innovation, to ensure each policy is customised and as individual as the assets and liabilities it covers. The range of basic benefits has been expanded and the policy documents are now supported with clear, simple wording.

A strong focus was also placed on risk management. Santam launched a series of tools to help clients ensure they are adequately insured with an online tool to assist with the calculation of the value of household contents and risk assessments. Clients are rewarded for taking preventative measures, installing the correct burglar proofing and taking advanced driving test.

“Our new business direction impacts clients at each level including how their claims are processed; how our call centre operate; how our policy holder records are maintained and how policy documents are worded,” concludes Kirk.

The level of service offered by staff to clients has been acknowledged in the 2009 Orange Index, and the behaviour of staff show that they buy into Santam’s strategy, which means policyholders and brokers can rest insured that they always get the best products and services from Santam.

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